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Monday, April 2, 2012

I-Berhad continues to seek partners for i-City project

I-BERHAD, an integrated ICT urban centre developer, will continue to seek strategic partners to accelerate developments at its RM3 billion i-City project here, its chief said.

Chief executive officer Datuk Eu Hong Chew told Business Times that the company is talking to several local and foreign firms who are considering co-developing some of the land.

I-City is a knowledge and tourism project, sprawled on 42 hectares. Some 20 per cent of the project has been developed with the rest to be completed over the next 10 years, Eu said.

The project has around 21 high-rise buildings comprising office towers, residences, SOHO blocks, a five-star hotel and serviced apartment-cum-hotel.

It also consists of a one million sq ft mall, a cybercentre, shop offices, retail and several leisure components like snow walk and a theme park.

In December 2011, I-Berhad entered into a 30:70 joint venture with Everbright International China to co-develop 12.5ha in i-City to build the mall, some residences and MSC (Multimedia Super Corridor) offices.

Apart from financing the construction, Everbright would lead a consortium of Chinese companies to set up operations in i-City, as well as promote the properties in China.

I-Berhad is looking for similar deals but Eu declined to say who the company is talking to.

Eu said I-Berhad is in talks with several local and foreign institutional investors who want to buy some of the buildings at i-City, via en bloc sale.

"We will close deals when we get a good price," Eu said.

Eu expects the company's performance to improve from this year, led by its leisure division, which currently generates half of its earnings, and property development.

For the financial year ended December 31 2011, I-Berhad made a pre-tax profit of RM1.84 million on revenues of RM27.3 million.

The stock closed 75 sen last Friday, five sen higher than the previous day's closing.

"The game plan is to continue investing in the leisure components as it is revenue generating and will attract new businesses here and spur demand for residences," Eu said.

I-Berhad is 65 per cent owned by its founder and chairman, Tan Sri Lim Kim Hong, and 18.1 per cent by state-owned investment fund, Permodalan Nasional Bhd.

By Business Times

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